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Sermon Illustrations: Obedience


Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine, they went to sleep. Some time later, Holmes awoke and nudged his friend. "Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see." "I see millions and millions of stars." "What does that tell you?" "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?" "Watson, you idiot. Someone has stolen our tent." Sometimes we can observe a whole lot of things that God doesn't really care about, and miss the obvious thing that He's vitally interested in. See also Mat 23:24: "Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!"

Obedience is like a computer password to the riches of God.

A ton of prayer will never produce what an ounce of obedience will. After all the praying, if you don't obey, you nullify all the praying.1

The yoke was placed on the ox to pull a cart or plough. Without that yoke, it's a lot tougher to do the job.

My Collection of Jokes, Quotes & Anecdotes

Once upon a time there was a little bird. He wasn't an ordinary little bird. He was a spine-tailed swift. Spine-tailed swifts have been clocked flying at 171kph. One day, he thought, "I'll be the best flyer in the country." So he practised, and got faster, and faster, and faster. But he wasn't satisfied, he wanted to go even faster. So he pondered the problem and came to a conclusion. He thought, "I know what's wrong. I'm too heavy. I need to get rid of some extra weight." He wasn't fat, and wondered what he could do. Suddenly, he realised he could be a lot lighter if he got rid of his feathers. So he did. And guess what? Then he couldn't fly at all.

Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived, but for such a wise guy, he was really dumb. And for a very simple reason - he failed to take his own advice. There's a saying: Knowing is nothing, doing is everything. Prov 5:18 (he wrote this stuff) talks about having a wife - not wives. But Solomon had 1000 (1 Ki 11:3), and they were his downfall.

Jesus told the disciples to "Go into all the earth..." But they stayed in Jerusalem till the persecution after death of Stephen.

Sir Leonard Wood was visiting the King of France. The king was really pleased with him and invited him to dinner the next day. He went. But the king said, "Sir Leonard, I did not expect to see you. How is it that you are here?" "Did not Your Majesty invite me to dine with you?" "Yes, but you did not answer my invitation." "A king's invitation is never to be answered, but to be obeyed."

When they put up a skyscraper, they put a lot of work into the foundation before they start worrying about the walls. They'll want to make sure it will keep standing. Obedience to God is the best foundation to lay when building our lives.

If you take a sponge and submerge it in a bucket of water, it will become saturated. Saturated means that it can't take any more water. Running a tap over it, dropping it in a swimming pool, tossing it in the river, won't make a difference - it's got as much water as it can take. Here's the thing: If you want that sponge to be able to take in extra water, what have you got to do? Wring it out. Obedience is like wringing out that sponge and the water is the Holy Spirit.

When the Israelites failed to obey and enter Canaan, they spent the rest of their lives wandering aimlessly.


If you deceive somebody else you are wicked but smart; if you deceive yourself you are wicked but stupid. Juan Carlos Ortiz on James 1:22 (hearing and not doing)

The Bible does not say, "How beautiful are the seats of those", but "the feet of those..." Juan Carlos Ortiz on doing not just hearing

Obeying Christ's command will cost me something. Am I prepared to trade something to make room to do it? Mark Ashton

God makes you look good; follow Him and you'll look smart. Paul Ruzinsky

1 Cole, Edwin Louis Maximised Manhood p 105

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